IBM's launched a blockchain accelerator to kick start its use across business

Lynsey Barber
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Blockchain in business is still largely at the experimental stage (Source: Getty)

Tech giant IBM has launched a blockchain accelerator aimed at getting getting the fledgling technology into action in the wild.

It comes as fresh research reveals a third of business bosses are either using or considering using blockchain.

The Blockchain Founder Accelerator will offer support for helping get the tech used in business, including legal and general advice in addition to technical help which IBM says is worth $750,000. It will also offer participating companies early access to software in a bid to kickstart adoption.

Read more: It looks like BT is ramping up its experiments with blockchain technology

“Blockchain is a team sport. With the right network of participants collaborating on the blockchain, the benefits can be exponential,” said Marie Wieck, general manager of blockchain technology at IBM.

“IBM has worked on more blockchain projects than any other player in the industry and we understand the challenges organisations face and the resources needed to get blockchain networks right the first time."

Eight firms will be chosen for the accelerator from across banking, logistics, manufacturing and retail industries.

Read more: Here's how Google's DeepMind is using blockchain-like technology

IBM is behind the Hyperledger project, an open source consortium working on standards for blockchain, and has committed to R&D in the emerging space.

Implementation of the distributed ledger technology (DLT) is still at the early stages with largely experimental trials taking place to apply it in several sectors by large corporates and startups.

Fresh research by the tech company reveals eight in 10 of the business bosses who are exploring blockchain are doing so in response to financial shifts taking place in their industry or to develop entirely new business models.

IBM director of research Arvind Krishna told an audience at the WIred Money conference in London: "Blockchain will do for transactions what the internet did for information". He said the firm believes three areas in particular - logistics, property records and capital markets - where blockchain had the potential to save up to $300bn in costs.

In the UK, the land registry recently said it will look at using blockchain to register properties.

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